Electronic cigarettes light up in France

Electronic Cigarette Boutique

In the course of the past couple of years, Lucky Strikes and Gauloises cigarettes have been vulnerable by the emerging electronic cigarette. An innovation produced by a Chinese developer in 2004, the rechargeable gadgets function by enabling users to inhale a vaporized liquid, typically propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, both common products in foods and pharmaceuticals.

In France, the electronic cigarettes are a novelty. Only some vendors provide the French with an alternative in light of altering cultural rules. But the novelty factor is giving way to a potentially growing industry as about 400,000 French are already daily users of the devices.

Established in 2011, the boutique Clopinette has become a leader in the electronic cigarette market in France. There are 20 stores across France that could multiple in number by the end of the year. They will appear in Italy and Spain, where the number of smokers isn’t far behind that of France.

Business partners Karen Warin and Eric de Goussencourt create websites for niche products, functioning in close proximity. When Warin couldn’t endure her partner’s smoking anymore in 2011, he tried e-cigs and ultimately give up regular cigarettes, inspiring their new online retail site called Clopinette. Literally translating to “diddly squat”, the name is also a pretty play on words for clope, kind of like “ciggie” in French.

Clopinette imports electronic elements from China and flavored liquids from France. Their stores feature staff that is specially taught to sell their products and to keep them out of the children, pregnant women, or non-smokers. Electronic cigarettes, some including nicotine and some without, are not yet medically approved by the French government as smoking cessation method. The marketing is turned more towards smoking in a different way.

While Clopinette claims that their electronic cigarettes are 1,000 times less toxic than regular cigarettes, French doctors remain doubtful.

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